Professional Roofing’s August issue highlights NRCA’s continued efforts to reform career and technical education federal policies.
In June, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353), legislation that would reform and reauthorize CTE programs operated under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006.
NRCA’s efforts to work with Congress to improve policy governing career and technical education (CTE) are highlighted in “Educating for the 21st Century,” an article published in Professional Roofing’s August issue.
The article states NRCA believes more effective CTE programs are vital to the long-term prosperity of the roofing industry. It is becoming increasingly difficult for contractors, manufacturers, distributors and other industry employers to find enough workers to fill job openings despite vigorous efforts to recruit new employees.
NRCA is urging Congress to improve and expand CTE programs to help meet the growing need for skilled applicants for well-paying roofing jobs. NRCA member companies provide career opportunities for those with the proper skills and work ethic. Reformed and expanded CTE programs can help provide students with the skills needed to pursue rewarding careers in the roofing industry.
In 2015, Congress began developing legislation to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which authorizes and provides more than $1 billion in funding for CTE programs at secondary and post-secondary levels. Policies governing these programs have not been updated since 2006, and their effectiveness for meeting the current needs of employers is in question.
NRCA has worked with lawmakers to develop policies designed to improve and expand CTE opportunities to meet the challenging workforce development needs of our members. The goal is to provide new opportunities for employers to collaborate with educators at the state and local levels to develop CTE programs designed to achieve employers’ workforce objectives.
According the article, a reauthorized Perkins Act will provide maximum flexibility in the design of CTE programs to ensure they are truly effective for meeting rapidly changing economic demands. In addition, there is a need for expanded employer-sponsored internships, on-the-job training opportunities, new sector partnerships between employer and educational institutions, and more incentives for the development of industry recognized credentials.
In 2016, a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) introduced the first iteration of H.R. 2353 which included policy recommendations developed by NRCA and allied groups. After passing the House, the Senate failed to take action on the legislation before adjourning at the end of 2016.
In 2017, at NRCA’s urging, the House renewed its efforts, and a revised bill was approved with strong bipartisan support in June. However, bipartisan differences in the Senate over education policy present an obstacle to Senate passage.
It is critical all NRCA members support this effort by contacting their senators in support of the bill. NRCA recognizes the importance of workforce development to its members and will continue working with lawmakers to pass the legislation. When implemented in the coming years, programs developed under the reforms in H.R. 2353 could be critical to enabling roofing industry employers to meet their workforce needs.
To read this article in its entirety visit http://www.professionalroofing.net/Articles/Education-for-the-21st-century–08-01-2017/4065/.